Help could soon be on its way to individuals, businesses, and state and local governments impacted by the coronavirus outbreak thanks to a deal struck early Wednesday between lawmakers in the Senate and the Trump administration.
According to a draft of the legislation, which is still subject to change, obtained by The Inquirer, it will include a massive boost to unemployment assistance, increasing the amount people receive by $600 a week for four months, and including freelancers, independent contractors, and furloughed employees.
Here’s an overview of some other noteworthy items in the $2 trillion bill:
$500 billion for cities, states, and distressed industries.
$367 billion funding for a loan program for small businesses.
$150 billion for state and local stimulus funds.
$100 billion for hospitals.
In addition, the federal government will send one-time checks to most Americans, depending on their income level:
$1,200 for individuals making up to $75,000. Phases out at $99,000.
$2,400 for married couples making up to $150,000. Phases out at $200,000.
$500 for each child.
A family of four that made less than $150,000 last year will receive $3,400. Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) said the money is expected to be paid in the first or second week of April, and most of it will be paid as wire transfers to individual bank accounts.
Pennsylvania will receive about $5 billion in aid from the bill, according to Toomey.
Toomey also said the bill includes an employee retention tax credit for companies too large to qualify for small business loans. It will be a direct dollar-for-dollar tax credit of up to 50% of employees’ wages, which Toomey said will “enable a lot of medium and large businesses to retain their workforce.”
He added: “We’re hoping it’s a mechanism to keep businesses alive for a few weeks or months until our economy can resume.”
It had been hoped that the bill would be approved Wednesday, but last-minute disagreements put that into doubt. It would then have to pass in the House and be signed by President Donald Trump before aid could start flowing.